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May 2016

Leadership Team Update
The Strengthening Families Leadership Team Meeting was held on February 17, 2016. A brief report follows:

The meeting began with Reports from the Ground, a recurring segment that focuses on Strengthening Families Protective Factors (SFPF) implementation at the local level. Christine Mash presented from the Greater Nanticoke Family Center, a Community Innovation Zone (CIZ) grantee, on how they have incorporated the SFPF framework into their program during their Parents as Teachers home visits, community cafés and within their documentation. Bethany Egolf from the PEAK Center located in Pottstown also presented on their implementation of the SFPF at the local level, including how they’ve incorporated the SFPF into their parent cafés and kindergarten readiness initiative.

The Strengthening Families Leadership Team has three subcommittees: Evaluation and Planning, Marketing, and Professional Development. All Leadership Team members are welcome and encouraged to join a subcommittee if their work schedule and time permits. The Evaluation and Planning committee provided an update on the status of the proposed evaluation, with the estimated date of the stakeholder’s survey in November 2016. The Marketing committee discussed the newsletter as well as a new parent brochure from the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) brochure. The CSSP brochure will be updated with Pennsylvania branding and available on the website. The brochure is a great way to share the protective factors with parents. The Professional Development committee did not meet last quarter but a subgroup met to discuss the implementation of the Be Strong Families Parent Cafés they continue to work on the details of bringing the model to Pennsylvania. The remainder of the meeting was used to view the second and third episodes of the Raising of America series.

It was requested that the Leadership Team members like the Facebook page if they had not yet done so.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 18, 2016 at the Center for Schools and Communities


Policy Spotlight: Re-Visioning Keystone STARS
Pennsylvania’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, Keystone STARS, is one of the most mature systems in the country to improve quality in child care/early learning programs. At this time OCDEL is engaged in a strategic process to examine and revise the Keystone STARS system. Recently, webinars were held to explain the process and to encourage participants to provide feedback about the STARS system and draft Keystone STARS Revisioning Framework of Shared Core Principles.

One of the Shared Core Principles is relationships with families and with communities. The Strengthening Families Protective Factors framework encourages professionals to support caregivers in building protective factors that keep their families strong and encourage the optimal development of their children. As people concerned about strengths-based services for children and families, the Strengthening Families Leadership Team Steering Committee encourages you to participate in the feedback process. To view archived webinars, learn more about the revisioning timeline, and provide feedback click here.


Practice Spotlight: Building Community, Building Hope
Building Community, Building Hope is the first film in a series that will feature innovative approaches to preventing and responding to child maltreatment. The film is rooted in the idea that "families don’t exist in a bubble—they are affected by community factors around them"1 and that there are programs across the country that are addressing these factors through "real-world collaborative solutions."1 Three programs are featured in communities in Iowa, Oregon and California. All of the programs focus on supporting parents in a strengths-based way to build protective factors that make their families strong.

The series can help to start a conversation about what is working to improve child and family well-being. Key messages included in the film include:2

  • Child maltreatment is preventable;
  • Blaming parents doesn’t work; supporting them does;
  • Community context matters;
  • We must work across the boundaries that separate us;
  • We have a ways to go, but we are on the right track

You can view the film and access a discussion guide here. The discussion guide provides more information about the themes of the film and how you might use it in your community.

1National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (n.d.). "CB/OCAN launches new video series." Retrieved March 10, 2016 from: http://www.cantasd.org/.

2National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (n.d.). Take action conversation guide. Retrieved March 10, 2016 from: http://www.cantasd.org/pdfs/BCBH_video1_DiscussionGuide_111315.pdf


Event Spotlight: Strengths-Based Symposium: Building Skills; Engaging Communities
Temple University Harrisburg will hold a strengths-based symposium that will provide a unique crossroads for help-givers from various disciplines to connect and explore strengths-based approaches, opportunities for growth and inspiration. The conference will be held on June 16, 2016. For more information click here.


Pennsylvania’s Mission:
The Strengthening Families Leadership Team works to sustain and weave the Five Protective Factors, which are social and emotional competence of children, knowledge of parenting and child development, social connections, concrete support in times of need and parental resilience, into policies, program and practice across child and family service systems.

Relationships • Strong Families • Respect



Strengthening Families Pennsylvania | www.pa-strengthening-families.org | PA-StrengtheningFamilies@csc.csiu.org | (717) 763-1661
275 Grandview Ave, Suite 200 | Camp Hill, PA 17011

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